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Angkor Botanical Gardens popular since inauguration

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Large crowds of visitors tour the Angkor Botanical Gardens in Siem Reap province on May 22. ANA

Angkor Botanical Gardens popular since inauguration

Since its May 19 opening, the Angkor Botanical Gardens in Siem Reap province has attracted around 7,000 domestic and international visitors a day, according to the Apsara National Authority (ANA).

ANA spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on May 24 that the gardens within the Angkor Archaeological Park are free of charge for visitors for one month, effective from May 19, contradicting an earlier statement by Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeung Sakona, who said at its inauguration that entry would be free for six weeks.

On May 22 alone, a total of 7,715 visitors – including 51 international tourists – visited the gardens and appreciated their beauty.

Kosal said the garden bans certain improper practices such as littering, throwing away leftover food, picking flowers or public urination. Although the attraction had just opened, he said that visitors were taking care to follow the rules.

“Angkor Botanical Gardens will only remain pristine if we refrain from picking the unique wildlife, regardless of how attractive it might be. To keep the grounds beautiful, we urge all visitors to observe the instructions we have put in place,” he said.

Din Kimran, a 16-year-old visitor from the province’s Puok district, said she was delighted to have visited the gardens. She enjoyed the large space and the many kinds of exotic plants she had never seen before.

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Large crowds of visitors tour the Angkor Botanical Gardens in Siem Reap province on May 22. ANA

Another sightseer, Chea Mengly from Siem Reap town, said he was excited that the ANA had established the space, as it makes Siem Reap even more beautiful. The gardens, he said, are attractively laid out and decorated, and the scent of the flowers fills the air, leaving visitors feeling refreshed.

He echoed the ANA’s instructions and called on all visitors to the gardens to keep them clean.

According to ANA, the park has five main zoological exhibits and botanical gardens in the Khmer style, including a medicinal and spice garden, a flower garden with grass lawns, a palm grove and a forested nature and wildlife area. The gardens will have 500 different species of trees, flowers – including orchids – and other plants.

Culture minister Sackona said the garden, which is currently sitting on a 15ha site, could eventually expand to encompass up to 130ha. Someday, it may cover the southern portion of the Angkor park area in order to help preserve the world heritage site and protect it from more invasive kinds of development such as settlements, he added.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

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